When we travel there are a few things we love to do, of course try to shoot as many cool images as possible, but we also love to visit comic book stores. And when you follow the vlog you probably already knew that.
Now the cool thing about comic book shops is that they are all different. And I don’t mean different in just layout or size…. No, really different. Some are run like a super clean commercial high end store and some are literally pure chaos. And trust me…. Those are the ones you need to go to. Not only do they make very interesting places for photos but you often also get the most knowledgeable staff and without a doubt the better books and deals. In the older shops I have found a lot of treasures of the years. And the more dusty the boxes… Well the more excited I get.
Ok so every comic book store is different, but they are also all pretty similar. Ok let me rewind. Yes there is a huge difference between comic book stores but in the end they are stores that sell comics. So when you look past the decorations and organising style they are pretty similar.
However there are exceptions, but not many, and you really have to know where to go because often these kind of stores are not in “plain site”. Simply put, they are so large they often take up complete buildings and just walking around makes your head spin. In all our travels and visiting stores I only found two of those mega comic book stores. And my absolute favorite is what I want to talk about today
And don’t even remember who gave me the tip about Anthony’s but man am I still grateful. Now you have to realize that in the area we are now there are a boatload of comic book stores, and we have the rule that we try to never visit one store twice, let alone three times. And you guessed it, today was the third time.
Anthony’s was already on my list of “don’t forget” but by pure coincidence we ran into the owner when we were visiting another store, now realize these guys deal with a lot of people and we are far from “a good customer” we can’t buy too many due to the fact we have to fly with them, and most of the time I go for the cheaper books. Now when we visited the store last year for the second time it surprised me they recognized Annewiek and me, but that was in their store. Now it was just in the middle of the street and the owner came up to me and said “I know you, how are you?, Make sure to drop by I have some cool stuff for you”.
Now I’m a huge believer in customer care and I always try to give as much attention as possible to people that I meet and personally I don’t care if someone just subscribes to our YouTube channel or books a year with Frank. Everyone is important. But this is very nice.
Of course we headed over to Anthony’s and see what he got, and yes I bought some books again 😉
Now let me describe the experience and use some images but trust me you have to be there to experience it. I think next time I’ll bring a 360 camera.
When you go inside you are immediately greeted by a boatload of collectables and comics in an awesome chaotic manner. Some people will flee, but man this is now a comic book shop should be.
Now this is small and very full but you really have to go further into the store. Now do remember that this is not a normal store, I don’t even think you can just walk in, make sure you call them first.
A little bit further is the what I think they call the comic book room (what’s in a name right?)
In this room it’s pure heaven (you think). Don’t expect any $1 bins, this is a well maintained and perfectly ordered comic book collection. I wanted a special Batman comic number 1 (don’t worry a normal series, not the 50,000 and up kind) and within seconds I had it in my hand….. Mmmm I had been looking for a year for that one. That’s just unfair and cool at the same time.
Now I got a special assistant helping me out, and I think that’s a good thing because first of all for the customer that’s awesome because they know where to find stuff but also for them it’s great because they know everything stays where it should, and trust me that’s vital. As you can see here. This is the comic room.
Now most people would already be jumping up and down in this room and with good reason, I could spend the better part of a day there treasure hunting. But what comes next cannot be described.
The best I can is probably like this, do you remember the movie raiders of lost ark where are the end they open up the doors to the warehouse where the ark is stored?…… Well think about that and change the ark and other artifacts for comics, comics, comics and some more comics. But also magazines, collectables and a lot more…… I would be surprised if you actually did find the ark in there somewhere.
Now I have no clue if they ever allow other people back there but I can imagine they do not, but I guess if you ask nicely the will, but in case you cannot, here is a small and I mean very small impression, this is truely and insane place.
Sorry for the different colors but the lighting is not very good for photography and has some weird color mixes. So I decided to tint them a bit creative.
Now you might think that they only do English…..nope
Boxes and boxes with for example Dutch comics. I told you this place is really special.
Now Annewiek and I have been entrepreneurs our whole life and one thing that can make or break a business is your staff, you can be the nicest person in the world but if your staff isn’t good for your clients or isn’t interested your business will fail eventually. Well no problem here. I actually felt really uncomfortable at one point.
I told them I loved the ec comic like comics. Or in other words short horror or SF stories in one comic. Immediately they started looking and box after box where opened to find some treasure. These books were not yet in the system and he just knew he saw them somewhere, but where. Now I told them I was looking for some cheaper books (if you know nothing about comics, I have a limit of let’s say 5-10 dollars. But for those kind of comics that’s really the bottom part of the pile) but that didn’t matter. They were determined to get me cool stuff no matter what I wanted to spend….. Wow. My kind of attitude, but I did feel a bit that I took them off their work for little revenue.
Btw their staff is just as much fun as their comics. You could call them comic archeologists for the simple reason day in and day out they get new collections and they have to be archived and sorted. Man I would love that job for a few days and maybe find that 3.6 miljon action comics number 1……
After 30-40 minutes I actually got a nice stack of exactly what I wanted. “next time let me know a few days in advance and I have box for you so you can select what you like”…. Where do they do that?
I left the store after more than an hour and again realized that there is absolutely nothing that can beat Anthony’s in my opinion. Store wise we have seen some more like this. But often those mega stores are not that friendly and not really open for the public at all, not even on appointment, and when you do get permission to browse it’s often more a “just let him help himself” attitude than really going out of their way to help a really small customer.
I’m writing this blogpost after a long day of sightseeing and getting some very cool stuff at pawnshops and other comic book stores. But the highlight of the day…..yep they did it again.
Now this blog is mainly photography related as you know but sometimes you visit places that are so special you just want to share it. And this is one of those.
Whenever your in the New York area (New Jersey side) make 100% sure to contact Anthony’s and see if they will open up their store for you. They probably will and you will not regret it
Thanks again Anthony’s and staff. See you without a doubt next year.